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Our Mission

CASA is a non-profit organization that promotes healthy, diverse communities through empowerment, education, and advocacy. 

We envision transformed Northwest Iowa communities that welcome, empower, and celebrate people from all cultures.

As a non-profit agency, we are funded by donations from individual, churches, businesses, and civic organizations.  

Our Governing Board

CASA, which is a non-profit agency funded by donations from individual, churches, businesses, and civic organizations, is directed by the below board:

President: Carlos Bahena

Sioux Center



Vice President: Judy Hauswald


Sioux Center


Treasurer:  OPEN

Secretary: Kim Westerholm


Orange City



Advocacy Team Leader:  Harold Heie


Orange City


Empowerment Team Leader:  OPEN

Education Team Leader:  Martha Draayer


Sioux Center


Other Members:

Pastor Gianni Gracia, Sioux Center

Mimi Sandbulte, Sioux Center

Matt Hildreth, Larchwood

Valerie Stokes, Orange City

Pastor John Lee, Sioux Center

Anne Junod, Larchwood

Eduardo Rodriguez, Orange City

Our History

CASA was started in 1998 by Nancy Visser, a retired hospital Social Worker from Sioux Center and Kathy Vaughn, an Americorps volunteer from Orange City.

CASA was started in reponse to the growing number of Hispanic immigrants moving to northwest Iowa and has been responsible for the below listed programs, projects, and events since it began:


• Coordinating Des Moines Register ad campaign re: immigration reform, 2014

• Hosted Mark Prosser, “Temporary Drivers License for immigrants”, Sept 2014

• “Exito En Iowa” Latino Community Education for newcomers series, Sioux Center, June 2014 - present

• Worked w/ SALUD on Immigration Potluck series in Storm Lake, Jan. & June,2014

• Hosted Eliseo Medina, Fast 4 Families event, February 2014

• Helped w/ Rev. Alexia Salvatierra program at Northwestern College/Amistad Cristiana, Feb 2014

• Ongoing meetings with Sheriff Dan Altena, Fall 2011 - present

• Partnered w/ OC Arts Council- annual Latino Festival in Orange City, 2012, 2013, 2014



• Started county-wide Community ESL Team to plan 1:1 and group ESL Classes, 2013

• Hosted annual Men’s Soccer Tournament & Latino Meal in Sioux Center, 2012, 2013

• Partnered with Northwestern College (Professor Piet Koene) to offer Medical Interpreter Training workshops, October 2013, ongoing

• Hosted “Community Spanish” classes in Sioux Center, Fall 2013

• Immigration Reform discussion with Rep. Steve King in Sioux City, August 2013

• Immigration Reform discussion by Skype w/ Sen. Grassley, June 2013

• Renter Rights & Responsibilities programs, Amanda Bahena & Donna DeWeerd, April 2013

• Diversity presentation (Eydie Owens), Pioneer Methodist Church Women, Rock Valley, March 2013

• Co-sponsored low-cost DACA Clinic with Northwestern College & JFON in Sioux Center, Dec 2012

• DACA Public Education program, Amanda Bahena, attorney, August 2012

• Welcoming Iowa project with Iowa Immigrant Education Coalition & local colleges: “Welcome To Shelbyville” film/discussion, April 23-24, 2012

• Immigration Conference & premier of the film “AbUSed: the Postville Raid”, Sioux Center, October 2011

• Started “pilot” group ESL classes w/ volunteer teachers in Sioux Center, 2011

• Partnered with Peck Law firm, Omaha to provide immigration attorney clinics in Sioux Center, 2011-12

• Helped plan an “Immigration & Community Conference” at Dordt College, Sept. 2010.


CASA’s first decade… 1999-2009:

• Listening forums with community leaders and Sen. Grassley and Harkin staff, 2007 and 2010

• “Know Your Rights” training for immigrants & advocates - Carlos Rios, Iowa Immigrant Rights Network, Sioux Center & Hawarden Catholic Churches/Amistad Cristiana, 2009 

• Development of a Deportation Response Plan for families & advocates, 2009

• Development of an Immigration Raid response plan for Sioux County, 2008

• Sioux County Immigration Focus Group for community leaders, 3 month series, 2008

• Basic Medical Interpreter Training course, by Mercy Hospital Des Moines Interpreter services coordinator, 2006

• Latino cultural events during Summer Celebration Days, Sioux Center

• Started NW Iowa Latino Coalition

• “Hiring Immigrant Workers: What You Need To Know” (event for Siouxland employers), Lori T. Chesser, Immigration Attorney, Des Moines, 2004  

• Spanish Interpreter and Translation Services for local businesses 2000-2008                                                         

• Free Monthly BIA-accredited Immigration Clinics staffed by trained CASA board members, 2000-2005

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